Raiders Meeting With Former Browns Starting LB: Report

mike mayock

Getty GM of the Las Vegas Raiders Mike Mayock.

While the Las Vegas Raiders can’t yet meet with players who haven’t been released from teams, they are a number of players they can meet with who have already cut ties with their former teams. One interesting name to keep an eye on is Christian Kirksey.

Kirksey was just recently released by the Cleveland Browns because they couldn’t agree on how to restructure his contract. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Raiders are bringing in the veteran linebacker for a meeting.

Kirksey started every game he played for the Browns over the last four seasons. The problem is that he’s only in nine games over the last two years. He’s dealt with injuries over recent years, so that will play a big factor in if whether or not the Raiders will make him an offer.

Kirksey Would Be a Solid Fit

Though his injury history is a big red flag, he could be a solid pickup for the Raiders. He’s a tackling machine that excels in run defense. Recently released linebacker Tahir Whitehead has similar traits to Kirksey, but the former Brown should be better as a middle linebacker and he’s shown the ability to create turnovers.

The biggest upside with Kirksey is that he’ll probably be a very cheap option. The Raiders need to address each linebacker spot and can’t afford to spend big on all three spots. Adding someone like Kirksey on the cheap and spending big on at least one of the other open spots could be a wise move.

Thank You Christian KirkseyThe Browns released linebacker Christian Kirksey, a veteran who left his mark on the field and throughout the community during his six seasons in Cleveland. We wanted to thank him for everything he's done for the team and the city.2020-03-10T15:35:12.000Z

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Other Potential Targets

The Raiders could aim for a Browns reunion and try to add both Kirksey and Joe Schobert. Schobert has a Pro Bowl pedigree and is solid in coverage. Kirksey could serve more as a run-stuffer while Schobert takes on tight ends.

If the Raiders aren’t interested in pairing the former teammates, Cory Littleton is the most obvious fit. He’s the best available linebacker on the market, but will most likely be the most expensive. He’d immediately help solve the Raiders’ problem covering tight ends. The Los Angeles Rams will try to keep him, but they already spent big money on Aaron Donald and are going to try and save money for Jalen Ramsey when he hits free agency. That should give the Raiders a chance. If Las Vegas wants him, they’re going to need to spend big.

A player the team is very likely to take a look at is Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil. He used to play under defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and is strong in coverage. Vigil should be familiar with Guenther’s system so it would be an easy transition. He also wouldn’t be very expensive. Pairing up Vigil and Kirksey would be a solid upgrade for the Raiders if they would rather spend their money to address other positions. Add a draft pick like Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray and the Raiders’ linebacker corps is actually looking pretty solid and not overly expensive.

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